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Quiz: How Is Your Memory Holding Up?

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Most adults can't remember anything that happened before they were 3 years old.

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Most adults can't remember anything that happened before they were 3 years old.

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You might recall one or two events before you were 4, but not much before you were 3. Children begin to identify objects around them (semantic memories) by 10 to 12 months. They remember things that happened earlier in time (episodic memories) by 20 to 24 months. You may not be able to form memories solid enough to survive into adulthood until you can think about what happened in words.

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Which helps turn short-term memories into long-term memories?

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Which helps turn short-term memories into long-term memories?

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The human sleep cycle is crucial to making memories. If something important happens to you during the day, your brain strengthens your thoughts and feelings about the event overnight while you rest.

A short-term memory is likely to become a long-term memory if it has a link to:

A short-term memory is likely to become a long-term memory if it has a link to:

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Details stored in your mind's data banks can be sorted by length: short-term; long-term (or remote); and recent (or working). A short-term memory must have some kind of impact for you to store it. The more ties there are between that memory and your bank of long-term memories, the easier it'll be for you to recall it.

A long-term memory fades because:

A long-term memory fades because:

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Once data has been stored in your long-term memory, it's there forever. However, you can't always call it up because the link (or association) has faded. Short-term memories vanish quickly, sometimes after only a few seconds. And recent, or working, memories are often replaced by new info.

What's more likely to help you remember to pick up the dry cleaning after work?

What's more likely to help you remember to pick up the dry cleaning after work?

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Remembering to do something, like run an errand or take daily medication, is called "prospective" memory. Following through on this type of task is tied more to a trigger, like seeing a dry cleaning receipt or driving past a pharmacy, than to having the task committed to memory.

Which of the following can cause memory problems?

Which of the following can cause memory problems?

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Trouble with total recall can come from many physical and mental conditions not related to aging, like dehydration, infections, and stress. Other causes include medications, substance abuse, poor nutrition, depression, anxiety, and thyroid imbalance.

Everyone will some memory loss as they get older.

Everyone will some memory loss as they get older.

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Yes, memory trouble does come with age, but not everyone has it. People who are more active, both mentally and physically, tend to have a better working memory than people who don't move often, or don't do much to challenge their minds.

A good social life can keep your mind sharp as you age.

A good social life can keep your mind sharp as you age.

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Studies show that older folks who stay socially active or live with someone also have better mental function.

Blood pressure and memory loss are related.

Blood pressure and memory loss are related.

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High blood pressure can affect blood vessels that supply your brain and lead to memory loss. The reverse also may be true: Studies show aerobic exercise can improve your memory.

What's something older people can to do help their memory?

What's something older people can to do help their memory?

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Do a word puzzle. Take a brisk walk. Brain teasers and physical activity can both help maintain mental function and preserve memory. Meditation can benefit seniors with memory problems in just eight weeks.

Forgot where you parked the car? Maybe you weren't paying attention.

Forgot where you parked the car? Maybe you weren't paying attention.

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As you get older, it's hard to keep your mind on more than one thing at a time. So if you're talking to someone while parking the car, you may not recall where you left it. Stay focused on what you're doing and it'll be easier to find that memory later.

Memory problems are one of the first signs of Alzheimer's disease.

Memory problems are one of the first signs of Alzheimer's disease.

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Memory problems are the hallmark of Alzheimer's. In fact, even before people have full-blown Alzheimer's, they often suffer from a condition called mild cognitive impairment (MCI), which includes some memory loss. Not all people with MCI go on to develop the disease, however.

You could have a serious memory problem if you:

You could have a serious memory problem if you:

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Not being able to recall where you put your keys, having trouble calling up a certain word or name, and taking longer to learn new things are signs of mild forgetfulness, which is common. Getting lost in places you know well can signal a more serious problem like Alzheimer's disease, depression, or a blood clot. 

 

Other signs of a serious memory problem include asking the same questions repeatedly, not being able to follow directions, becoming confused about time, people, and places, and forgetting to take proper care of yourself.

You're more likely to get dementia if your spouse has it.

You're more likely to get dementia if your spouse has it.

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Older men living with wives who have dementia are about 10 times more likely to get it, too. For women the chances go up fourfold. Even so, most people don't get dementia when their spouse does. The stress of caregiving, which has been linked to depression and poorer overall health, may be a factor.

Your Score:     You correctly answered   out of   questions.
Your Score:     You correctly answered   out of   questions.
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RESULTS: Great job! You have a good grasp of how memory works.

RESULTS: Not bad, but you can do better. Try the quiz again.

RESULTS: You can do better. Try the quiz again.

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